Monday, November 10, 2014

All About The Dice !! My Addiction

As anyone who plays Role playing games knows, it is all about the dice. 

(My Original Sets of Dice)

Updated picture 

When I first started playing and then running games, I always loved the dice, I love the way a new set feels and select dice that appeal to me. I am addicted to buying dice... I have bought 2 sets of one dice simply because it was cool and forgot I had that set.  My latest purchases have been sets that I wanted or additions to sets that I own. 

Buying dice started out at some conventions I went to and ran games at, we would get some vouchers for running games, and I pretty much spent most of my vouchers on Dice... so I would rotate the dice I was using... One of the reasons for so many dice is that I can always pull out a pair that no one at the table is using and minimize my chances for losing dice... I have also given away more sets then I can remember, simeply because I always buy a few really cheap sets. 

Most board games are played with a Standard 6 sided Die or a Pair of  6 sided Dice

The Number of sides of a dice can vary in Roll playing games from 4 sided, 6 sided, 8 Sided, 10 sided, 12 sided, 20 sided and Percentile dice (100) 

In Role playing games, depending on the system, you can use any combination of Dice or all the dice. There are many Specialty dice that can be purchased. 
You can find all sorts of odd dice, like a 30 Sided (I have no need for one) or any game specific type 

I can tell if a Die is not weighted correctly simply by feeling it... I don't know if the material were cheap but I recently bought a set that will never be used because the weight is wrong

4 Dice, 3 Manufacturers, made in 3 different decades, all the same size.... 4 witnesses that verified the first time I weighed them


Glow in the Dark Dice... I had to have them... Love the way they change from Purple to Green glow

My New Foam dice                                The Playschool dice

The dice collection only my large Foam are in a bag, I prefer empty Peanut butter jars

Ever feel the need to throw a 100 HD Fireball ? 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Creating adventures

So, I really love the challenge of creating a module and writing in general... 

One of the hardest challenges is to test your own Creativity and push it to the limits. Each module written for a convention was intended to be better, more creative than the previous one before it. I have created a few that were one adventure not designed to have a part 2 and then the really special ones decidedly got a part 2 and seldom a part 3. I also started the campaign module, designed for 8 hours of play and to have a new part at each Con I attended.

Ideas come from everywhere, I do not dismiss an Idea simply because it would be difficult

Here is a preview of one of my Convention games: AAAAHHHHH

Ideas could emerge form any where, and this one was really special. My Gaming group was watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail, specifically The Caves of Caerbannog scene.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

#RPGaDAY All Posts

#RPGaDay Posts to my Twitter Account -  PASoccerdad

D&D The Blue book Who knew that bell charts and dice role aggregates would help with learning and critical thinking-Life Changing
.... D&D... best edit ever

2 -  - First RPG Gamemastered - D&D, worst dungeon ever... I sucked, luckily my friends really did not notice, I got better

3 -  First RPG Purchased - Dungeons and Dragons and Dice... read and memorized cover to cover in one day

4 - Last RPG Purchase - AD&D 1st edition Monster Manual from Ebay....Role Playing game legendary book !!!!

5 . most old school RPG owned--
Dungeons and Dragons and TOON-the role playing game

Favorite RPG never get to play. tough one but I have to go with TOON, The Role playing Game. Chutzpah baby

. Most intellectual role paying game owned; Dangerous Journeys.Took a lot to make the character.,but is an amazing system

8   Fav Character 1st Ed. Female Assassin over 10 yrs. claimed 2 b fighter-an Orc was a Cure light wounds

9   favorite dice set..large play school dice and from dice that I can throw at players

10 ...favorite tie in novel.,My approach - novel that inspired a game. DREAM PARK One of the most inspiring and instructional for a DM

Weirdest Role playing game Owned - not sure, but I think playing a toon may be the one... not that far off the path though

12 . Old role playing game I still pay/read.,being old school, D&D...Vampire, the masquerade,., I do read toon

13  Most memorable character death: I was the DM, one player took out another player by creating a tornado and dropped him 2000 feet

14   Best convention purchase: having 2 figures painted for me. And DICE, lots of dice

15   - Fav Con game Dances with Donuts, TOON. ended with table dancing through the con while eating donuts -more

16 .. Game I Wish I owned...Original Call of Chtuthl...

17 -funniest game you played in- Dances with Donuts...TOON - enough said

18  - favorite game system...AD&D 1st edition of course

19  Fav published adventure- Sabre River.. More for the way the DM ran the game...

20 (Never Tweeted) Will Still Play in 20 Years time - AD&D, If I can put together a good core group

21-Fav licensed RPG., Dream Park,loved that each game could mix or use different genres.. Easy system to play

22 -Best secondhand purchase - near perfect copy of Fiend Folio from eBay for $8.00,including shipping

23 . Getting caught up..collect looking product - Top Secret box set..

24 ..Most complicated RPG owned, Dangerous Journeys...truly freaking awesome game

25 ..Fav RPG that no one wants to play - DC Heroes

26  coolest character sheet... AD&D with the honor box for OA

27 you would like to see a new edition... Dream Park

28  scariest game ever played - Call of Cthulhul first edition literally scared the hell out of me - Scott Castrol was the GM'

29 . Most memorable encounter - Toon, My Rabbit made lots of copies (rabbits multiply). and all of them dropped exploding dice at once
. The exploding dice took out a sky scraper floor by floor, have to admit, I did not for see this mayhem

30  Rarest RPG owned - Dream Park, only because the company no longer exists.. I also have a copy of the original Gods Demigods ...

31    Fav RPG of all Time - Silly Question, has and always will           
                                                  ADVANCED DUNGEONS 
                                                        AND DRAGONS

Things That Influenced Me

Here are things that had an impact on my life... These 

are in no way listed in order of their importance. 


  1. Dream Park, Larry Niven and Stephen Barnes 
  2. Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit
  3. The Bible 
  4. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons - Dungeon Masters Guide 
  5. How to Eat Fried Grasshoppers ( We read this in my second grade class and I am unable to find this book anywhere)
  6. Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80's (Gonzo Papers) by Hunter S. Thompson 
  7. No One here gets out alive, Jim Morrison Biography
  8. The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy (all of the books)
  9. The Adventures of Samurai Cat 
  10. Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey
  11. The Sleeping Dragon (Gaurdians of the Flame Series)


  1. Beastmaster (bad film, good breasts, hey I was young when I first saw it)
  2. Casablanca, I tend to model my characters on the characters in this film
  3. The Sword and the Sorcerer, FN everyone had a character named Talon at one point
  4. Krull - Horrible film, cool weapon
  5. Say Anything
  6. Anything featuring Ray Harryhousen 
    1. The Golden Voyage of Sinbad                     
    2. The 7th Voyage of Sinbad 
    3. Jason and the Argonauts 
  7. Willow
  8. Dragonslayer
  9. Robin Hood (Errol Flynn)
  10. Excalibur


Keep in Mind that I grew up when we had only 1 or 2 tv's no DVR or DVD... we gathered around the TV at night and watched as a Family
  1. Animainiacs
  2. Happy Days
  3. Battlestar Galactica 
  4. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century 
  5. Quark
  6. BJ and the Bear
  7. Dukes of Hazzard
  8. Looney toons
  9. X-Files
  10. Mork and Mindy
  11. Soap


  1. Jethro Tull
  2. Queen
  3. Kiss
  4. Talking Heads
  5. Adam and the Ants
  6. The Wolfe Tones
  7. U2
  8. Led Zepplin

Early Convention Years

In 1992 we started attending conventions.  I enjoy playing as much as I like being the gamemaster

The First convention I attended was Defcon 3 in New Brunswick, NJ on April 24-26, 1992
It was run by Pete Boton and Shirley
They were assisted by Tanya and Andy and Shaun and several other people

I Ran 2 games (4 time slots) and did not stay on site at the hotel
        One of the games was "Entrance To Classari" and the other game I ran was Maidens of the Dessert .... during Saturday, I somehow managed to lock my keys in the car (all my materials were in the car) and had to get a ride home to get my spare. This messed up my times for running my games on Saturday... I met so many gamers at the con and many of whom I gamed with outside the con after it ended. So everyone voted on best payer, best Game master and some other categories. I ended up Winning Best Game Master and I guess I kinda shocked everyone by giving a speech thanking everyone...

Entrance to Classari  - Rescue a Sword of power from an underground Orc stronghold, for characters Level 5-7

Maidens Of the Dessert - Set off to explore an Ancient land in the middle of a Dessert, Levels 8-11

We made DefCon our Home convention as it was the most local, then we started staying at the Hotel, assisting with Running the con as best we could. We also Hosted a Saturday Night Party in our room that was unbelievable at every con... people would ask about the parties all night...

After the party Saturday night, we walked the halls at about 5:00 AM, shouting "Bring Out your Dead!!"
and usually clanging on empty ice bins or whatever else we had.

Defcon 4:

Maidens of the Forest - searching for a Missing Druid who is to become the next Grand Druid

I think this is where I premiered So you think you have an Attitude !! - The followers of the Dwarven God of Attitude and Drink have been summoned to go on a quest.

I also started the Arena of Chaos as a build your best character and  defeat everyone else slugfest. We had 4 board going for this game and 38 players at 7 PM on Saturday. We provided a 25 Dollar gift card, and numerous other prizes (Such as a plastic sword for the First Killed and prizes for the top 5)
I had my core group providing 8 DM's for this ... We ran this for 3 Cons...

I got to play in a early Sunday morning game (I never schedule one, but my friend Tanya Schector was running it)... The game was about characters getting transported to a Renaissance Festival in modern day Sterling forest.... I brought along my Paladin, Hamlet (Things did not go well for him) but for me and the other player next to me, we were having a great time.... Seems Tanya setup the table and got me to play for a reason....  There was a girl (20 or so years old) playing in the game with a low cut top and for every die roll, she would get up and lean over the table to roll the dice... Tanya had her do A LOT of extra rolling...

Defcon 5

So You Think You Have an Attititude, Too !!!

I could not come up with a good plot / hook for my next Maidens (Maidens of the Tundra) so I shelved that

By this time we we were running TOON!  games and all sorts of other games... Dream Park, the Novel and later the RPG influenced my games... and I wanted to create a game within a game so I created "The Quest for the Gate Between Worlds"... based on a book. This is the first time at a con that I used pregenerated character and had to create an additional character that was not in the book.

I have only used Pregens when absolutely needed for the game... when I needed to provide a large background for a game I was running or based on my groups campaign (Port Greybar)

I think I was able to Play in Steve Karstensen's Toon game "Dances with Donuts"
Background: Shaun Nelson (RIP) loved donuts and whenever we got together we got donuts and Shaun had his own Donut Dance music...
 - Steve (who is brilliant) ran a fantastic game... he took everything from the past conventions and Tooned it just right.

Defcon 6- 8

To be honest, I do not remember what I ran at the remaining defcons so I will do my best to stay in order

Toon Games
Daytoona Beach - Toon game, very well received.
Pizzatoon - Delivering Pizzas to an RPG convention
Toon, A Love Story - Delivering the groom to the Wedding

AD&D Games

AAAHHH - To Say anything about this would be just wrong... This is one of my masterpieces

The Epic Saga of Port Greybar - This was based off my long running campaign featuring the most Epic Monster ever in AD&D - The Curhre

The Shadow Mother game, brings all the aspiring guild master assassins together to find and destroy the grandmother of assassins

The Return Of the Griffin, The fulfillment of an ancient treaty must be completed

Saturday, April 12, 2014

My Developmental Years

Where to begin....

The Early influences of Brad, Jeff, Mark, Jim and Jim's brother Adam slowly broke away as a few years went by... Jeff in the Navy, Brad off traveling and and simple falling out with Brad, Jim and Adam.

So after High School  there were still games to play but for a couple of years I kinda got away from playing and worked 2 jobs, one during the day and another at night, I was working full time during the day at a factory, store, or delivery and at night waiting tables at banquets and later working in a Palmer Video in Somerville... my focus shifted to working and women and the occasional game

In 1989 Bridgewater Commons Mall opened and soon after a Gaming store opened there.

This led me to connect with the biggest influence on my gaming  - Mark C and the most creative person I know  - Steve K

Mark C, Steve K, Greg B and myself would form the core of our group we added other players over the years such as Scott C, Steve L, Chris and Linda and others that joined us like Vince A

We were not only gamers, we all truly enjoyed each other's company and did many thing together as a group
We liked to go out and have fun aside from the game.. in fact it was unusual for us not to be together when time permitted it.  I know that I was creatively stimulated more by Mark, Steve and Scott both as a player and a DM /GM than ever before or since. They literally pushed me to create and expand my skills

This was a dynamic time as all of us were very into making the game as good as it could be.. The role playing was getting explored and expanded, the quests, challenges and puzzles were getting higher billing than the fighting.

Many of us were running the game, as once campaign ended, another DM would take over and run a new one for the group. During the time when you were playing, you had time to create new adventures

I was churning out material for my world Pak-Zaroth and starting to develop my new "Monster" whom I call The Cuhre  - bad ass invaders from another continent.. I never developed the continent where they rule because I had no intention of anyone from Pak Zaroth actually venturing there.  I did complete the culture and the hierarchy for the creature

The players started out as having grown up in Port Greybar... When you want a stating location, make it a port simply for the possibilities it presents.. Then I went with Towns.. Northport, Southport, Royt, Faralmar

I created the map, placed the towns, then created the rulers and notable people for each town. Then created some political intrigue to run for a good long time in this world. Then placed other races in regions of the continent, Keeping humans to about 1/15 the scope of the known land and islands. I then did some rough natural resources and trading lines for the towns... I felt it best if there was not a huge deal of trading and most towns were self sufficient. There are 4 geographical  "Kingdoms" and 3 of the 4 have a Lord, the fourth is a Barony and is the newest ruler.

The guilds for Thieves and assassins and a few other secret societies were completed after that.

Then I set about filling in the Legends of the lands that would become adventures or remain legends that were not explored

Unfortunately, the large map of Pak Zaroth does not seem to want to be found or has been discarded... I found a small copy but it only has some of the features on it.. here is the map of Port Greybar

The shape of the world was quickly coming into shape and the first adventure in the new world was protecting a Farm from a Wolf on the outskirts of Greybar

Many of our older and higher level characters were being retired or turned into NPCs (Non player characters) for the most part and only brought out for special games

We started getting into other games systems at this time to break up some of AD&D and because some our players were interested in running these games

Call Of Cthulhu

Dream Park
DC Heroes
James Bond
Top Secret
Killer, the Assassination game
and many others

During this time, I met my wife, who, God Bless her, puts up with my insane gaming.

At one point I have had 3 game nights, Tuesday(AD&D), Friday(Vampire)  and Sunday(AD&D)... always crazy

We also started doing conventions in 1992

Friday, April 11, 2014

A little rough around the edges Early gaming years

A Little bit about me...

I have been gaming since Middle school (roughly 1979) I started with Dungeons and Dragons and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons...

I am an voracious reader, sometimes reading 2-3 books a weeks when I was in High school... most of them SciFi or Fantasy

I retain approximately 90% of what I have ever read or watched in my lifetime...I worked in a few video stores and people liked to test me on that... feel free to question me.

We were your typical kid gamers more interested in what we could create in true Monty Haul style than anything else... Our early characters were gods... with castles and spells galore at their disposal... I won't tell you how bad were were (but we created chariots that could bring us anywhere and had spells that made us indestructible... then we hit High school (9th Grade was part of our Middle School) and that stopped as we developed persona and less Monty haul but still power gaming

On Our 8th grade trip to Williamsburg VA, a group of us played D&D the entire way down there and most of the way back... there was very few times we did not have our dice with us. In HS we continued to play and had a school club at one time that met once a week... we also had a 4H club that met every week and we did the Somerset county 4H fair every year for a few years... we had a booth and gamed and socialized and informed people that we were not satanist or cultist (even though religious groups came by and left us pamphlets)

I had friends in the apartment complex that I got into AD&D, we played on the steps outside our apartments for hours and hours.

I also did many other things in school, like the All School musical and running Track for 3 years each spring. So all this in addition to gaming and reading

This also started my addiction to collecting dice.. not 6 siders as most games use, but the Polyhedric dice that has 4 / 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 20 and percentile dice (2 10 sided, one marked in 10s,   00 - 0 was 100 - or you used 2 different color dice and called which color was the 10s)

                                                 These are my Original dice used for D&D

I have to admit my early gaming years were not all that great as far as role playing and creating dungeons. It was more about what creatures they want to fight than any rational pattern to the encounters... but I did lay down a foundation for honing my skills and evolving my understanding of creating worlds. Plus, during this time I memorized all the information needed to run a game and what I needed to have my disposal to do so efficiently.

                                                               Another set of Dice

What I did learn in those years was that I can self teach myself anything that I wanted to learn.

By the time I hit HS, I had a good understanding of math and history and several other interests because of the complexity of the games I was into... this is not a board game, it a game where the Dungeon Master has to have the plan and be able to execute the plan... I was great at remembering detail and improvising on the spot.  I was reading tons of material, sci-fi, fantasy, historical... it did not matter.

Music influenced the games.. I had older brothers(4) and older sisters (2)... My brothers probably influenced my taste the most... Queen, Jethro Tull and ZZ Top were the first music I really was into as a Teen.  There were songs that inspired me and some that truly fit what I was working on.

Then, when "Broadsword and the Beast" came out in 1982... wow.. it was simply amazing

From early days of infancy, through trembling years
of youth, long murky middle-age and final hours
long in the tooth, he is the hundred names of terror ---
creature you love the least. Picture his name before
you and exorcise the beast.

He roved up and down through history --- spectre
with tales to tell. In the darkness when the
campfire's dead --- to each his private hell. If you look
behind your shoulder as you feel his eyes to feast, you
can witness now the everchanging nature of the beast.

I see a dark sail on the horizon
Set under a black cloud that hides the sun
So bring me my broadsword and clear understanding
Bring me my cross of gold as a talisman

Bless with a hard hearth and those who surround me
Bless the women and children, who firm our hands
Put our backs to the north wind, hold fast by the river
Sweet memories to drive us on for the motherland

Terms I have used

monty haulA derogatory term for a tabletop RPG that is far too easy and therefore poses no challenge to its players, usually a 'Monty Haul' game quickly becomes boring once it's players become the most powerful things in the game world.
Named for the host of "the Price is Right" a TV quiz show.
Power Gaming
Creating the best possible character within the confines of the rules... taking on difficult challenges... acquiring magic items in the game to enhance your character abilities to overcome